Pharrell Williams isn’t taking any chances with will.i.am‘s attempts to keep all things “I Am” for himself. The N.E.R.D. rapper/singer has sued the Black Eyed Peas frontman in order to keep using his own “i am OTHER” brand.
As previously reported, will.i.am claims he owns the “I Am” trademark and took legal action against Pharrell Williams for use of the “i am OTHER” name of his YouTube channel. According to will.i.am, born William Adams, the Neptunes producer’s brand was a conflict of interest and caused confusion because of the similar names. will.i.am’s lawyer was adamant that they had not sued Williams, but were simply protecting the artist’s copyright.
TMZ reports that Williams has responded to this notice of opposition by filing a lawsuit against will.i.am. The “Get Lucky” singer filed suit in New York federal court and claims that he and will.i.am are using “I Am” in different ways, thus there is no conflict.
Pharrell says Will is using the “I Am” is a Seussian way — as a playfull riff on his own name — and to hammer home his point, he quotes from Green Eggs and Ham:
“Sam I am
I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am”
Pharrell continues in his suit, “In contrast, the I Am Other mark means ‘I am something else,’ leaving what that ‘else’ is to the imagination of the consumer. It certainly does not mean ‘I am Will.'”
Pharrell is asking a judge for written permission to continue using the “I Am Other” mark.
With lawyers now fully involved, this thing is only going to get uglier before it is resolved.